Solar Energy Pros & Cons

Q&A from our 'Learn about Solar' series.

Just to be clear here, these pros and cons do not apply to every home in the United States. These are simply all the possibilities that exist, and you should check out your home's exact location to get a more detailed and accurte list.

 Solar Energy Pros:

  • Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit: The IRS provides a 30% federal tax credit, available to all homeowners until 12/31/2019. This means that for an $18,000 solar panel installation, you will get back $5,400 on your taxes later that year!
  • Many states have additional rebates or tax credits that are available on top of the Federal credit. This will further reduce the amount you need to pay for your solar panel setup.
  • Even though the most southern states get the most sunlight, there is probably enough sunlight whereever you live to make solar worthwhile. There are always caveats (i.e. south-facing roofs tend to do better and shade over your roof will be a problem), but most of the time there are options that still make it worth it.
  • Solar technology has stayed consistent over the years. This means that if you buy panels today, they will not be outdated by time the next versions come out (think smartphones or computers).
  • Making your home energy-independent will increase your home's resale value. Typically you get about 60-80% of the solar panel cost back in home value.

 Solar Energy Cons:

  • Some states do not allow the leasing of solar panels. This means that the only option residents of those states have is to flat-out buy their panels. Some of us can do that, while some simply do not have that much money up front.
  • Some states do not help with making solar more affordable. Certain states do not give additional tax credits or rebates to help offset the cost of a solar panel installation.
  • Solar panel costs have dropped over the years. This means that while you may spend $10,000 today on solar panels, they might be $2,000 less in a couple years.

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